Jumping right into the new academic year!

Welcome back to the blog for the new academic year

Our senior prep school class have certainly jumped into learning with both feet!

We have so much news to share with you, September has been a busy, happy and productive month for everyone in Hedley park.

Firstly welcome to all our new friends and their families, we are delighted to have you in our Hedley Family. I’m sure you feel right at home by now and that’s when the fun really begins! And to our old friends we are glad you all had a great summer and cant wait to show off all you’ve done this month.

Learning about the Seasons through art and colour.

We will start with the preschool group, its been great to welcome so many little brothers and sisters of our pupils in the prep school group. While Hedley does have a strong family feeling in general, nothing beats actually having your brothers and sisters close at hand to share in the fun.

On the “new” theme, the preschool room got a summer makeover and sports a fantastic new home corner area and loads more notice board space to display all the work our littlest ones are doing.  If you haven’t done so already, give us a call and come take a look!

Through September the Preschool group have been learning about many themes, Autumn, South America, and Weather being the main ones. Aside from the traditional academic, sounds and numbers for  preschool, the Monetsssori environment places an emphasis on assisting young children to understand world cultures, geography, natural sciences and the society they live in. This is achieved through art, music, story and movement. But particular to Montessori is the exploration of these themes through the senses.

Exploring the properties of 3D geometric shapes. Do they roll? Do they have sides or edges?

Using touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing young children absorb the physical impressions of  world around them and use these later as the foundations and cornerstones of all the abstract information older children and adults process. In the Montessori school there are materials created to provide this input to the child and assist the child in really creating the strong logical framework it needs to be an independent and active learner.

Group Painting the South American Continent: a social and physical learning experience.

South America was the focus of our geographic trip around the globe for September. As you may know Montessori colour codes the seven continents, this helps young learners to classify and connect the learning and images related to each continent. Allowing for quicker recall and better connection of plants, animals, people and traditions of each continent. Pink is the colour of the South American continent and with the help of our teachers, the preschool group painted a huge mountainous continent for our notice board.

Take a trip to Sunny South America!

Renoirs "Les Parapluies"

Another amazingly fun project got the preschoolers talking and exploring the weather through art. Using Renoirs “Les Parapluies” as an inspiration, we talked about rain!

Hedley Park's "Les Parapluies"

 

 

 

What rain felt like? What rain sounded like? What a rainy day looked like? What clothes we would wear? What things we would need?

All great topics to expand vocabulary and enhance listening and speaking skills in the group. Then we made our own version. We are sure you will agree the feeling and ambiance of a rainy day is captured perfectly!

Prep Schoolers learn about the Wonders of Ancient Egypt.

In the preparatory school group Aoife & Katie’s class have been busy beavering around too! Enjoying the mixed age range in this class, with the older ones helping the younger ones. It really is true what they say, you remember 90% of what you teach someone else to do, experiential learning has been a big feature of the work of the junior prep school class. Montessori classes have a mixed age range from each plane of development, knowing that younger children watch older ones looking for example, this n turn inspires the older children to be more responsible, assisting the younger children enhances self esteem and providing the social cohesion of a caring learning environment.

Swish! Great African themed handwriting sample!

The group learning themes this month have been The African Continent, (coded green) Ancient Egypt, Autumn and our phonogram “Sh” and the sound “C”.

Autumnal Leaves! Displaying great pencil skills.

Everyone is enjoying the discussions, art, song and story during group work and circle time, but personally I am really impressed with the personal handwriting and colouring work from these young students.

Africa Wall Display, lots of fine motor skills needed: colouring, cutting, glueing!

Practical life, a wonderful staple of the Montessori environment has been given a seasonal update. Practical live allows the younger child to gain independence and fine motor skills, and in the older child it enhances concentration and raises self esteem through accomplishment of interesting and detailed tasks.

One of our Practical Life shelves in the preparatory school

Halloween spooning. Enhancing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Witchy Eyedropping Work. Eydroppers strengthen fingers and utilise the pincer grip essential for handwriting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Halloween and Autumn themed work has been really well received and was proudly displayed to me by the students when I went to ask them about their work. I really liked using the magnifying glass to “spot” bugs in the sand! 🙂

Footy Fun for everyone!

Last but by no means least, our senior prep school group in Ashley’s class have indeed jumped right in! You can see from their fabulous “Footy Fun” display board (also at the top of the page). This was a fantastic team building experience for the new “big kids” to be welcomed by their more seasoned senior class colleagues. Everyone got to experience a mini spa, as shoes and socks were discarded and painted feet left their mark. Highlighting that even down to our toes everyone is unique, our differing feet impressions were lots of fun to create. A nice aside to this was a small lesson in “care of self” as foot washing and drying finished the group work nicely. Well done to all you really did put your best foot forward!

Aside from their extensive individual learning the senior class have been working on three projects. Family Trees, Properties and Characteristics of various materials, and finally Story telling and Writing.

Our Family Trees! Colourful and Significant.

The family tree project saw, history taking on a very personal journey. Each child took time to talk to family members and classify each segment of their family tree. This is a great project for the older class, who are developmentally very aware of their position and place in the greater family and relative structure. It promotes a feeling of belonging that is central to self image.

Labeling our science project.

In science the junior experimenters have been exploring the properties of materials. What better way to find out about a material than to add something to it. Letting the students predict what may happen,  then observe and  record their findings. It is this concrete emphasis on the steps involved  in the scientific approach that will assist these young minds to really take in what is necessary to explore the world in a scientific manner. They tried their hand at oil marbling with great success. They also created a wave bottle, which was great fun until it fell and broke on the carpet. But all proving to be valuable physical property based learning experiences.

Oil + Paint + Water + Paper = Art!

A Story by Scarlett (Age 7)

 

The final group project involved literature and an interesting community based twist. The students used their imaginations, and IT skills to compose and print fairy tales of their own creation. Once the stories were complete the senior class authors had a “story time” for their younger school mates. This proved very popular and was enjoyed by all.

 

 

Knowing the senior class it’s just the first of many creative sharing experiences they will lead for the whole school to enjoy!

The Magic Box written and illustrated by Phoebe.

Thanks for stopping by, as you can see we’ve been really busy. We look forward to showing you our work from October very soon.

Don’t forget to keep your eyes on the Facebook page for detail of this years “Super Spooky Witches Walk”.

Everyone smiled at our crocodiles!

Our gala performance of Peter Pan was memorable for many reasons. Waking up on December 21st to find a winter wonderland outside our windows we knew this was going to be a day to remember.  We had all worked very hard to ensure the 20th anniversary performance of the Hedley Park Christmas play would be one to talk about, and it seemed even mother nature was doing her best to help it stand out!

The Darling Nursery

Teachers arriving early at the theatre were treated to a surprise snowball fight from three of our cute cast members, Phoebe, Scarlett & Jules.  All morning as our parents brought our stars to dress rehearsal the soft falling snow provided a magical backdrop. However nothing proved more magical than seeing all our little ones on stage relishing the performance.

Cutest Crocodiles lie in wait for Captain Hook!

Of course, as all our parents will know we had spent weeks prior to the big day rehearsing with Ashley and our drama teacher Esther, practising our lines and songs, learning stages cues and generally enjoying the show.

Lost Boys in training!

 

 

I’m not sure anyone will forget “Following the Leader” and “Never Smile at a Crocodile” as we sung it at snack, lunch, playtime, and I can imagine even in our sleep!

Jnr. Stage Designers in action!

The big school cast members helped to create the props. Designing and painting each item. Some students even brought in items from home to make the stage perfect in every scene!

Ladies that Louis Vuitton

 

 

 

We had our usual day long pre show rehearsal in the week before the play. It’s a tiring day and some of our older students knew to pace themselves and reserve energy. Finding our Ashley’s beautiful LV scarf they settled themselves to watch their friends on stage wrapped in their new blanket.  These ladies know how to relax in style.

Indian Braves and Lost Boys.

Pirate SnuggMonster!

The day itself whizzed by, the calm air backstage belied all the work put in by staff and students alike. As usual our little stage stars rose to the occasion wowing the audience with their performances. Well behaved, full of fun and not in the least bit fazed by being on stage.  Every year under the guidance of our directress Ashley and our Drama & Music teachers, the children blossom into their roles and it is a joy to see.

The finale of our version of Peter Pan saw all the cast on stage for the (home-made) 20th Anniversary Birthday Cake. And accompanied by our staff we sang a wonderful rendition of Dionne Warrick’s Motown classic “That’s What Friends Are For”

Lovely Lost Boy and Girls!

For those who  want to relive the play, the snow and the beautiful slide show of backstage photos, DVD’s can still be arranged just contact the school when collecting or leaving your child in.  I’ll leave you with a few more enchanting photos of our stars! We cant wait to find out what we’ll be doing for the 21st Hedley Park Play!

Super Cute Crocodile

Peter Pan and Tinkerbell

 

All the cast staff on stage.

Thanks for reading, please feel free to share with your family and friends that couldn’t make the show on the day.

 

Lots of love,

Staff & Pupils of Hedley Park Nursery & Prep  School.

 

Important Note: Snow Closure

Dear Parents.

Snow Day.

Due to worsening weather conditions predicted over the next 24hrs Hedley Park School and Nursery will be closed on Thursday 2nd December.

Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

We hope all our students and their parents enjoy the day and can stay safe & close to home.  We will let you know about school reopening as soon as possible via text and update to the blog,

Thank You.

 

Big School News: 1st-6th Class Update

Here it is, the final September catchup from the Big School. Where last but by no means least, is the news from our mixed age community First to Sixth Class.

As our most wide-ranging age mixed class, first to sixth is a lovely student community to observe and engage with. The Montessori method allows students to develop and engage at their own level and pace, with younger members being encouraged, inspired and aided by elder classmates. This is very evident in our eldest class grouping and the work they engage in is confirmation of the success of this collaboration.

The overarching topic of study for the senior class this month has been Water.  Again as with all classes in the “big school” the topic study is used to inform and frame the national curriculum studies while the students learning is reinforced by the hands on experience with the Montessori materials available in class.


Water Anagram Art

The students began by creating water anagrams as an exercise in english grammar and then went on to create a fantastic water cycle mural on the wall. Researching labels and definitions for the water cycle on various internet children’s science sites.  These exercises allow the students to engage with english grammar on a multisensory level, ensuring they absorb the knowledge in a fun and creative manner. The use of internet for research is a vital skill for students and internet enabled computers, supervised by staff, are available in all classrooms.


Handwriting & Research Wall

Using arts and crafts, alongside computers, books and other resources opens the students minds to the variety of research methods and forms of expression that exist and can be utilised to communicate messages to the world. As a class group using multimedia, art, and I.T to convey their learning allows all students to showcase their talents and develop new methods through teamwork with their classmates.


Water Cycle Collage


Our Rain Gauge

Another benefit of the Montessori primary class structure is that it allows the learning and practical work to be student lead. On Tuesday 21st this was particularly inspirational when the students decided to measure the heavy rainfall that had been occurring. They created a temporary rainfall gauge and placed it in our patio area. From 9.30am – 10.30am they took record of 80ml of rainfall. The success of this experiment led them to create a more permanent instrument (pictured) and they are measuring rainfall over a period of a week to be recorded in their weather chart.  I’m sure we’ll have the results of that in their next update.

To close out this post we thought we’d leave you with the students beautiful water themed paintings. Colourful and cheerful enough to shake off the long evening blues! 🙂

Water Themed Paintings

So with wise words from our school elders, Don’t Waste Water! we leave you for now, but expect more updates from them soon.

From all the staff and pupils of “the big school”